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December 19, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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December 19, 2003

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,HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, DECEMBER 19, 2003 T-- I [ First person by Marni Mandell try--a place I hold so close to my heart. Over the course of the next and somewhat forlorn as I people have been making in insisted--time and time jewelry stores and shops. One again that I would not let my simultaneously cringes and feelings interfere with my smiles as they hear the commitment to a country I American accents from all held in such high esteem, parts of the country try out As I sit here today, I under- their pigeon "Heblish." stand my feelings of commit- All this being said, I would ment. They are the same feel- choose to be nowhere else in Editor's note: Marni fewdays, delegates from North ings that I have heard, time these few days. Mandell grew up in Central America, Israel as well as and time again, comingfrom WhileIwillmostlikelynot Florida;shelivesinNewYork worldwidewiilgathertogether the mouthsofthehundredor have time to write, I wanted and works for United Jewish to celebrate the second Gen- so delegates I have personally to'convey a feeling of hope, Communities. Mandell was eral Assembly in Jerusalem. A met thus far over the course faith and vitality that is a in Israel for the General As- remarkable feat, and not one of the past three days. As they great part of this General AS- sembly, held in November. to be taken lightly, the orga- tour the country, get up in sembly--in perhaps what no These are her thoughts the nized Jewish Federation sys- the early hours of dawn and other GA has had in its past. night before the GA began, tern, spearheaded by the urn- stay out until late into the In a time where few are trav- It is hard to believe that I brellaorganizationtheUnited night, they have constantly eling to Israel--there are am writing this from an of- Jewish Communities, made been showing their dedica- more than 4,000 people who rice in Binyanei Haoma (the the conscious choice to hold tion. If I only gain one thing, havechosen to step onto the convention center) in the this conference here, under it will be the strength that I tarmac schlep their luggage center ofJerusalem. It is hard the watchful eyes of its breth- will derive from these amaz- and stand up and say, tobelieve that as I sit in this ren.Abrilliantstrategicmove, ing people who have chosen "HineinimHere I am. " office, sunlight streams in it embodies the commitment tocomehere, walkthestreets, I urge us all to make this through the window, warm- that we as a Jewish commu- and show their commitment choice in the coming ing the room that is filled nity have chosen to make to firsthand, months. I, for one, am will- with the buzz ofplans for the this beautiful and yet torn I wish there was a way I ing to take the first step and 4000+ delegates expected to apart country, could accurately portray the hopethatotherswilljoinme. POur into the buildingwithin Over a year ago my life was atmosphere here; the sunset May we all pray that peace a few short hours. I can hon- drastically affected by the glisteningoffoftheconcrete and security reigns over this estly say that as I sit here, I bombing which claimed the and Jerusalem stone. Dei- beautiful country for its en- ~nnot help but feel proud to life of three close friends, egates wandering the streets tire people in the coming beapartofaneventthathasSince that moment, myfeel- in truly only the way tourists days, weeks, months and truly brought about a palat- ings of security when I vis- can-with complete owner- years able feeling of renewal, hope ited were never particularly shipandpride.Conversations With love from andsolidaritywiththiscoun- clear. I was nervous, agitated abound as to the "finds" Yerushalagim. HERITAGE welcomes and encourages letters to the editor, but they must be typed or printed and include name and phone number. We will withhold your name if you so request. Please limit letters to 250 words. Due to space limitations, we reserve the right to edit letters. Send letters to P.O. Box 300742, Fern Park, FL 32730. Or e-mail to Destruction of Israel I)ear Editor: I am continually appalled that there are so many mem- hers of the local Jewish com- munity that advocate the de- Struction of the State of Is- rael through their support of the Oslo Accords, the con- of the Bush Road Map Peace, their approval of Geneva Initiative A/K/A Geneva Accords, and their activities sympathetic to- the Palestinian "eause". It is beyond my com- I~rehension how they can claim to be in favor of a strong Jewish state while at the same time working for demise of the Israel we a "Palestinian" in order to have a non-emotional, logi- cal, mature discussion. Cer- tainly they are not an indig- enous population if you ac- cept their claims of being de- scendents of the ancient Phi- " listines. If you accept the premise that they came from he ancient Philistines, then you know they originally came from the Northern Mediterranean area and have no justifiable claim to the If we are to accept docu- historical records, can be no doubt about new lifestyle, etc. They basi- cally would "fit right in" im- mediately. Again follow the historical documentation of how dis- placed persons had been treated in other areas during the same period of time from just after World War II'and the creation of the State of Israel. It is only the Palestin- ians who have been treated so shabbily. It is only the Pal- estinians who have been used by other co-religionists. It is only the Palestinians that have been manipulated in or- der to perpetuate unrest and a war like atmosphere to- wards the Jews. Itis only the Palestinians who have had a specific relief agency estab- lished just to assist them with no time limit of assistance. It is only the Palestinians who are allowed to continue to receive this assistance from generation to generation "Presently, the Kingdom of Jordan fits all the requirements for a Palestinian country. This is what the League of Nations Partition Plan envisioned. This should be implemented immediately." the legitimate right for the existence of the State of Is- land that is now Israel. Sec- passing on the role of refu- raelwhile having serious res- ondly, you have to accept the gee. There has been no other ervationsabout the creation fact that Israel was conquered situation of displaced or re- and occupied byArabs/Mus- located populations being Discount all theological liras in 639 AD. Thus, Arabs isolatedin refugee camps for arguments for both an Is- occupied the Jewish popula- overfiftyyearsandprevented Palestinianstate. tion long before the current fromassimilatingintoneigh- eliminate one ma- situation resulting from the boring countries of similar area of contention andreclaiming ofJewishlandsof cultures. Study the history that should not be Judea, Samaria and Gaza in of the peoples of the region into the equation or 1967. Thirdly, exclude any and you too will learn that theological importance to "most of the so called Pales- am referring only to his- the land by both Jews and tinians really came from documentation and Muslims as previously noted, neighboring Arab countries going back at least Follow the accepted trite- in the early Twentieth Cen- thousand years. Just ria in determining what de- tury to take part in the devel- ldy the history of thefines the legitimate require- opmentofthefutureStateof East. It will then be ments for the creation of a Israelby the Jews coming in to realize the validity of state. The Palestinians have from Eastern Europe. The Jewish claim to what is no specificculture, language, land was legitimately pur- ~vlsraelandthetotailyab- history, music, food, cloth- chased from absentee own- by the Palestin- ing, folk lore or religion as is ers or at inflated prices from their right- strictly their own. They could local inhabitants. I claim to the same land. live easily within the con- Iamailinfavorofacoun- ,yabout Pal- fines of over twenty two Arab try for the Palestinians. I sup- tied counties without having to port a country for the Pales- learn a new language, accept tinians. Presently, the King- of historical fact. a new religion, assimilate dom of Jordan fits all the one must define who is into a new culture, acquire a requirements for a Palestin~ ian country. This is what the League of Nations Partition Plan envisioned. This should be implemented immedi- ately. Please explain to me why the Palestinian Muslims want a Jew free country, but decry any mention of a Muslim free Israel. What is the rationale? If I, a Jew, want to live in France, there is no problem. IfI want to live in Japan, as a Jew there is no problem. If I want to live in Italy or Canada, or Costa Rica or any place but Muslim country, I can do so. Why not Jordan? Why Saudi Arabia? Histori- cal documentation Muslim intolerance to non-believers- ones not belonging to the U'uma- the Nation of Islam. They are not wanted. Because the Koran has such a strong influence in the daily lives of the mainstream Muslim population, most of the dis- cord can be traced to funda- mentalist interpretation of this Book. There is no sepa- ration between the secular and non-secular factors of life. They are proposing the. establishment of a country where I as a Jew will not be allowed to live. Only in Mus- lim countries does this situ- ation exist. The creation of a new country, Palestine, will only act as a catalyst for the continued hostilities towards Israel. As. long as there ts a neighboring non-Muslim country, there will be un- rest. Remember, as it I said, "First the Saturday people, and then the Sunday people." Rational, logical, intellectual discussions have no place in a meaningful dialogue with people desiring the creation of Palestine II. Until hey are willing to accept Jewish neighbors, accept the histori- cal facts about rightful claims to "the land between the River and the Sea", allow non-Muslims to live within their borders as equals, don't waste my time discussing a peace plan. As the Prophet quoted, "war is deception." They followed that concept in the seventh century and they still follow it in the twenty first century. LAURENCE MORRELL Maitland PAGE S R FL IZ uJHAT 16 3 ' 65 -1146 GbOUJ oF Rabbinical Thoughts Judaism and the older generation By Rabbi R. J. Adler This led to the opening of Jewish old age homes most Judaism has the greatest ofwhich had a high standard respect for the elderly as the of caring and proficiency. Torah put it in Leviticus Today, new conditions 19,32,"Rise up before the must be taken into account hoary head" .This mitzvah whenitcomes todealingwith was obeyed lovingly and per- the elderly. People live meated the attitude of our longer, there are more of Jewish People since antiq- them, the children livea full uity to this day. We have al- life and are working, thegen- waysassociatedagewithwis- eration gap is more distinct domandvaluableexperience than before, health care is as we find in the Book of Job, very expensive and so are Jew- "With the ancients is wis- ish OldAge homes; we live in dom", and as was elaborated ayouth oriented culture, our in the saying, wine and wis- elderly want to be indepen- dom improve with age. At dent as long as possible and the same time it is also true they do not want to be a bur- that in Judaism the older den ontheirchildren. Mean- generation was worried while, theyarelonesome, feei about their future, as the unproductive, not needed Psalmist put it, 71, 9, "Cast anymore, are depressed and me not off in time of old age," without further goals or chal- which became a most impor- lenges in life. There are as- tant High Holiday prayer as sisted living homes available, chanted by the cantor in the hired help in your own home, synagogue on those days. Ben deluxe places for senior citi- Sira, a post-Biblical writer zens with nursing facilities warns us, "Dishonor not the and institutions which are old for we shall all be num- able to support the elderly bered among them." (8,6) physically and spiritually. The story is told about a Rabbi Zalman Schachter rabbi who applied for a posi- has written a valuable book tion as a spiritual leader in called, "From Aging to the well-known city of Metz, Sageing", in which he tries Germany at the age of 70. to teach the elderly to have a Although he was a great Tal- more positive outlook on the mudic scholar, world re- Golden years, by insisting nowned, the Synagogue that they can still make valu- board debated his application able contributions to society for a long time. Finally, they by getting involved in their asked the elderly rabbi to senior years based on their guarantee them that he skills and wisdom. Lifeisnot would serve them at least 20 over until it is over. Mean- years. He did so, they ac- while, participate as much as ceptedhim, and he died there you can, have self esteem, at 90. feel good about yourself and Years ago, older parents strengthen your physical and lived with their children and spiritual life as much as you both benefited from the ar- can. He founded groups for rangements; there was re- like-minded seniors which spect, compassion and love are very helpful, and he as- and the mitzvah of honoring sures us that elderhood can parents plusgemilut chesed, be a time of unparalleled in- deeds of loving kindness her growth of spiritual which provided the religious eldering. He refers to the bond for this successful un- older generation as wisdom dertaking. However, as keepers, capableofundertak- health deterioratedand funds ing this journey not only for diminished, the Jewish com- personaiwell-being, but also munity at large had to assist for the health and survival of the individual households, our ailing planet Earth.